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Indianapolis, Indiana, Artistic Exhibit Embraces Indiana's Past & Present


by Melody Schubert

A picture paints a thousand words. The beauty of art is that an artist can provoke emotion with several brush strokes. For each person who views the painting the feelings and memories will be unique. Indiana is home to many extraordinary artists like T.C. Steele. At the Indiana Historical Society we explored one of the many wonderful exhibits called The Art of Healing.

The Art of Healing took us back to explore the work of sixteen prominent Indiana artists including T.C. Steele, Carl Graf, Otto Starke. These artists contributed to a mammoth project 1914 resulting in an estimated quarter mile of artwork. Hidden within the confines of one of the nation's oldest county hospitals in Indiana were a series of historic and unprecedented of mural paintings.

A painting can take you back to happier days. The Wishard art collection of murals originally celebrated the opening of the new wings for patients within the hospital. Artists who worked on this extensive creative project also slept and ate at the hospital. What they created were priceless pieces of art that helped lift the spirits of patients. Project supervisor and famous Hoosier artist William Forsyth regarded this work as "the most ambitious and monumental work yet undertaken by Indianapolis artists." Artists represented in the collection include William Forsyth, Wayman Adams, William Edouard Scott, J. Ottis Adams and T.C. Steele.

The exhibit raised awareness of the restoration needs to preserve these timeless pieces of art. Patrons who visit the History Market gift shop in the Indiana History Center continue to support the project. Each tax-deductible donation or purchase of calendar's, note cards, magnets, and screensavers related to the exhibit at the gift shop helps the continuing efforts to restore and preserve these cherished paintings. Once restored, the murals and paintings will return to the public areas of Wishard Memorial Hospital, Indiana's leading public hospital.

Art comes in many forms. Visitors to the Indiana History Center have discovered the story of Hoosier artist Robert Wood and his students at Buffalo State College. The Common Clay: Creating Old and New Ceramics exhibit included historical examples of pottery created in Indiana in the early twentieth century. Among those early works are Overbeck, Muncie and Brown County pottery, and clay works by Karl and Gordon Martz and Richard Peeler who worked in Indiana during the second half of the century. Featured works of art created by Robert Wood and his former students who include college professors, public school art teachers and full-time ceramic artists with national reputations. Exhibits display many historical works by other Hoosier artist throughout the year for patrons to enjoy.

Explore artistic creations of the past and present. The Indiana Historical Society was founded in 1830 when it began collecting, preserving, and interpreting Indiana history. Since the opening at their new headquarters in 1999, the Indiana Historical Society has become premier venue for special events in the Indianapolis area. Admission to the museum is free. Visitors can enjoy fascinating stories of Indiana's past and dine at the Stardust Terrace Cafe along the historic Central Canal during these hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday. Indiana Historical Society is located at 450 West Ohio Street in Indianapolis. Visitors can find out more about scheduled exhibits and events by calling the museum office at (317) 232-1882 or 1-(800) 447-1830.

About the Author

Melody Schubert is a Editor of USA Travel Magazine. Discover places to dine, shop, and vacation destinations, check local weather, play Sudoku, read tidbits of News, book and travel product reviews, and order a Free State Vacation Guides at http://www.usatravelmagazine.com.

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